[in-toh-neyt, -tuh-]

verb (used with object), in·to·nat·ed, in·to·nat·ing.

to utter with a particular tone or modulation of voice.
to intone; chant.

Origin of intonate

1785–95; < Medieval Latin intonātus, past participle of intonāre to intone. See -ate1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for intonate


verb (tr)

to pronounce or articulate (continuous connected speech) with a characteristic rise and fall of the voice
a less common word for intone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for intonate

1795, from Medieval Latin intonatus, past participle of intonare (see intone) + -ate (2). Cf. Italian intonare, French entonner. Related: Intonated; intonating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper